Why should I feel guilty because I missed a day of blogging? It's my blog and my life. Yesterday was very busy - aren't they all? - and it was still ahead of me when I woke this morning, an hour late for my swim. Never mind.
I want to tell you about a book I bought yesterday. Everyone knows about Alexander McCall Smith, the prolific creator of the Ladies' Detective Agency series and two others. In one of the other series, his character Isabel Dalhousie, I think (I'm doing this from memory), frequently mentions W.H. Auden. That always piqued my interest because I wrote my Master's thesis on Auden and he has been a lifelong influence on my life, in spite of abysmal gaps in my knowledge. I was halfway through my studies on Auden when the English Club invited me to give a talk about my subject. That's when I learned that Auden was gay. In my day, you must remember, it was still illegal in Britain, and people didn't talk about it. My advisor was deeply knowledgeable about Auden, musically as well. (A composer as well as an English professor at the University of Manitoba, Chester Duncan set several works of Auden's to music.) But to discuss Auden's homosexuality was a topic he didn't want to touch, I guess. So I discovered it by accident when I was supposedly the expert talking about the poet. The other discovery I don't know how I missed. Auden died just a few months after my husband died. I was in an airport, I remember, reading the newspaper and saw the obituary and - how did I miss it? Auden's birthday was the same date as mine: February 21. Not the same year, but the same date. How could I have missed it?
Anyway, back to McCall Smith. His new book is titled "What W.H.Auden Can Do For You". He's already done it, but it goes on, it goes on. I am grateful.
There, that's today.